Events in 2013
Solemn Commemorative Meeting
Monday, 25 March 2013, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, General Assembly Hall, United Nations, New York.
The President of the General Assembly convened a special commemorative meeting of the General Assembly on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on Monday, 25 March 2013, at 3:00 pm.
Statements were delivered by the President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, representatives of regional groups and of the Host Country.
The keynote address was given by Professor Ali Mazrui, Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies (IGCS), and Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities, Binghamton University. The Cameroon National Ballet also performed.
Friday, 22 March 2013, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, General Assembly Hall, United Nations, New York.
UN Foundation Girl Up Champion Monique Coleman hosted the event featuring performers from Africa, the Caribbean and the United States:
- Cameroon National Ballet
- UNESCO Artist for Peace Marcus Miller
- Steel Pulse
Speakers at the concert included:
- H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Ms. Shorna-Kay Richards, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations and Chair of the Permanent Memorial Committee
- Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information
Cultural and Culinary Evening and Exhibit Reception
Thursday, 21 March 2013, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Main Gallery, Visitors’ Lobby, United Nations, New York.
The event began at 6:00 pm with a poetry recital to honour the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aimé Césaire, organized jointly with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Bureau de la Martinique.
Françoise Vergès, President of the French National Comité pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage (2008-2012), introduced the Recital. The evening included:
- Poetry readings by Carole Alexis, Christel Coita, Ezra Mabengeza, Andgie Noel and Roxane Revon
- Music performance by Yacouba Sissoko (Kora player)
- Dance performance by Ballet des Amériques
- Screening of video excerpts from Aimé Césaire: Une Voix pour l’histoire, by Euzhan Palcy
- Display of kanga fabrics from Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania
- Video presenting La Fraternité, the educational ship project
- Culinary displays from Africa and the Caribbean
The exhibition "Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation" was comprised of panels retracing the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, presenting heroes and activists, the fight for emancipation, and the legacy of slavery today.
A copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, along with a signed copy of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was also on display during the commemorative week, 18-25 March.
The exhibition was free and open to the public from 11 February – 26 March 2013. Information on visiting United Nations Headquarters can be found at the UN Visitors Centre.
Cultural presentations and culinary displays from Africa and the Caribbean followed.
Presentation and Book Signing
Thursday, 21 March 2013, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm, United Nations Bookshop, United Nations, New York.
A presentation of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery (2012) by authors
- Deborah Willis, University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University;
- Barbara Krauthamer, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst;
and of Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (2012) by author
- Alan Gilbert, John Evans Professor of History, University of Denver.
This event was open to the public. Information on visiting United Nations Headquarters can be found at the UN Visitors Centre.
Film Screening: "Lincoln" (Steven Spielberg, 2012) (2 hrs 30 mins)
Wednesday, 20 March 2013, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm, United States Mission to the United Nations, 799 United Nations Plaza, New York.
The film was introduced by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Tony Kushner.
Global Student Videoconference: "Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation"
Tuesday, 19 March 2013, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building, United Nations, New York.
The United Nations Department of Public Information, in collaboration with UNESCO ASPnet programme and an advisory group, organized a global video conference for students from primary and secondary educational institutions in five countries – Denmark, France, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States.
NGO Briefing: "Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation"
Monday, 18 March 2013, 10:15 am – 12.15 pm, Conference Room 4, North Lawn Building, United Nations, New York.
- Eric Foner, Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University, author of The Fiery Trial, Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery;
- Dr. Anne Bailey, Associate Professor of African American History, African Diaspora Studies and African History, Binghamton University;
- Dr. Françoise Vergès, President of the French National Comité pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage (2008-2012).